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ME106
Cracks on the Exhaust Valve Casings of the Main Engine (UEC)
Technical committee

1. Process

Immediately after leaving port at Kobe (while sailing at approximately 100rpm,) a crack was discovered
on the collar attached to the cylinder cover of the main engine #4 cylinder exhaust valve (C valve.) The
crack extended approximately 70mm from the top edge toward the center of the collar and approximately
50mm in a downward direction. As the crack on the top surface extended to the base of the valve casings
center cylinder, the situation was reported to the bridge and request was made for speed reduction of the
main engine and for the engine to be stopped at the next possible location. 40 minutes later, the main
engine was stopped and anchor was dropped.

2. Outline of breakdown

While replacement of the said exhaust valve was being carried out, other cylinder exhaust valves were
examined for cracks. Approximately 7~70mm long cracks were discovered on a total of 15 exhaust valve
casings which included spare exhaust valve casings.
Among the 15 exhaust valve casings including spare valves with cracks, 13 of them exhibited cracks
occurring between the cam-side collar attachment bolt hole and the base of the valve cylinder. The cracks
cut across the collar from the edge of the flange toward the valve cylinder. Although the worst cases
exhibited cracks extending right to the base of the cylinder and cracks emanating from opposite edges
almost connecting, there was no deformation etc. of the concerned areas.

3. Repair and Countermeasures

Based on the condition of the cracks, for the time being, only the #4 cylinder B valve and C valve which
had the worst cracks were replaced and voyage was recommenced towards the next port of call (Nagoya.)
Decisions for repairing the cracks were based on manufacturer recommendation. Slight cracks were
ground off, metaloc adhesive was applied toward those cracks which could be repaired (9 units,) and those
which were extremely damaged (4 units) were unloaded and scrapped.

4. Probable causes

Although it is unknown when the cracks on the edges of the exhaust valve casings formed, it is assumed
that they did not form recently. As such, although a determination of cause is difficult, the over- tightening
of the clamping bolts on the exhaust valve casing is conceivable as one cause.
In other words, assuming that the attachment of the exhaust valve and tightening of the attachment bolts
were carried out by the manual book, as the nuts have hitherto been tightened with an impact wrench, it is
conceivable that it would be quite easy for over-tightening to occur and it is speculated that the cracks
formed and worsened due to repeated over-tightening over the long-run.
Furthermore, as the location of the cracks tend to be concentrated between the cam-side bolt hole of the
exhaust valve casing and the center cylinder, structural and material problems are also conceivable and we
feel that additional investigation is hereafter necessary.

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The Marine Engineer Mar.1989
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2
The Marine Engineer Mar.1989